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Royals Rumblings - News for April 23, 2019

Well, at least there’s hope on the horizon.

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Kansas City Royals Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Royals fell to 7-16 last night, after a questionable move by Ned Yost to leave Brad Keller in the game during the 7th inning.

Sending Keller out for the seventh, manager Ned Yost had shown earlier this season he wouldn’t hesitate to stretch him out in the late innings. Knowing how poor the bullpen has performed in close situations through the first 22 games of 2019, the decision to proceed with Keller didn’t come as too much of a shock. However, perhaps staying in one batter too long, Mike Zunino crushed a two-run homer to dead center, giving the Rays their first lead of the night.

Our own Bradford Lee pretty well sums up the frustration of most Royals fans.

The 2019 Royals season and the Sunday game against the Yankees perfectly mirrored the frustrations I feel about getting older. I’m generally an upbeat, optimistic guy, but this team is testing me. Just a few short years ago, this was a game Kansas City would have won. A late inning rally to take the lead, then hand it off to the bulletproof bullpen and chalk up the W. Not anymore.

By my tally, the Royals pen (and to some extent, Ned Yost) have blown ten perfectly winnable games. You throw those games into the win column, and suddenly this team, despite its flaws in the bottom third of the order, becomes very interesting.

Rustin Dodd over at The Athletic KC also weighs in on how fans are feeling about this start to the season ($).

And in some ways, this answer only makes you angrier. If money was so tight, you ask, why did they spend $3 million on a one-year deal for utility man Chris Owings, who batted .206 last season in 106 games? And why do they feel the need to play Owings every day?

If you are this fan, you are upset about the roster construction, and the decision to jettison outfielder Brian Goodwin in favor of first baseman/DH Lucas Duda. Goodwin is batting .346, after all, and Duda is taking at-bats away from Ryan O’Hearn, especially against left-handed starters.

In a turn of good news, however, Danny Duffy will return to the Royals rotation on Friday.

Duffy was put on the 10-day injured list when the team broke camp and remained in Arizona to build his arm strength back up, then made one rehab start with Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Saturday.

Duffy threw five innings and gave up four hits, one unearned run and struck out seven in the start.

“The line was fine,” Duffy said. “I was effectively wild. My stuff got me through. That’s the story of my career. I would really have liked to have hung in there a little longer.”

Speaking of hope coming from the minor leagues, some Royals prospects are off to hot starts to 2019:

The Royals lineup could look a lot like this very soon:

  • C - Maldonado/Gallagher
  • 1B - O’Hearn
  • 2B - Lopez
  • SS - Mondesi
  • 3B - Dozier
  • LF - Gordon
  • CF - Hamilton
  • RF - Starling
  • DH - Soler

With Erick Mejia, Frank Schwindel, and Humberto Arteaga coming off of the bench. Add in the likes of Josh Staumont, Richard Lovelady, Jake Newberry, and Kyle Zimmer coming out of the bullpen, and Keller, Junis, and Duffy leading the rotation, this team may not win 80 games, but they’d certainly be a lot more fun to watch.

* Edit: I didn’t mean to leave Whit Merrifield off of this list. Wasn’t trying to imply anything. Just a slip of my mind. *

Over at Royals Farm Report:

Tim Hill believes he fixed his command while in Omaha.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to grind it out and get the feel back. Basically, that’s what I did. I went down there (and) the extra reps helped me just be able to find it.

Nolan Arenado recorded his 1,000th career hit last night, in style:

Pirates reliever Nick Burdi suffered a pretty gruesome injury last night.

Nathan Eovaldi will have elbow surgery.

Aroldis Chapman has been replaced as MLB’s top fireballer.

Who would win a Royal Rumble among the 30 MLB managers? ($)

Vladito is ready for The Show ($).

Nicolas Cage is getting a divorce after four days.

On this day in in 1954, Hank Aaron hit the first HR of his big league career.

Also on this day in 1564, William Shakespeare was born.

Your song of the day is “River of Time” by Jake Owen.